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    Chaetodon paucifasciatus, The Red Sea Endemic Reappears

    Chaetodon paucifasciatus is an exciting butterflyfish from the Red Sea that rarely makes it into the aquarium trade. C. paucifasciatus is a member of the “Xanthurus” complex, commonly known as the Pearlscale Butterflyfish complex, all of which are silver with chevron markings and a yellow to orange colored back. The Red Sea species however, differs […]

    Chaetodon paucifasciatus is an exciting butterflyfish from the Red Sea that rarely makes it into the aquarium trade. C. paucifasciatus is a member of the “Xanthurus” complex, commonly known as the Pearlscale Butterflyfish complex, all of which are silver with chevron markings and a yellow to orange colored back. The Red Sea species however, differs from its other Indian Ocean counterparts within the complex by having a scarlet red back.

    Ubiquitous in the wild, the once very common Red Sea pearlscale butterflyfish has been nearly impossible to obtain in recent years, with only a few emerging sporadically in unimpressive numbers. (A painful phenomenon for its admirers.)

    Fortunately, I’ve recently had the opportunity to obtain a pair; ¬†shown here the duo is a gorgeous representation of the Xanthurus complex, highlighting the beautiful silvery body and vibrant oblique red patch.

    chaetodon paucifasciatus

    Another interesting fish on-board this particular shipment was this Gramma linkii. Often teased as being the “ugly duckling” amongst the brethren of Gramma species, (G. loreto, G. melacara, G. dejongi, G. brasiliensis and G. linkii), G. linkii is no stranger to rare fish enthusiasts.

    gramma linkii

    Gramma linkii is rare and difficult to obtain in the trade.

    The specimen shown here is exhibiting its stressed colouration. Under normal circumstances, it’s a uniform blue-grey with yellow highlights on the face and some spots on the body. We hope to obtain better photos of it when the fish settles down.

    A big thank you to Jenn Chye for making this two species available to the Singapore market, and a big thank you to Tay Yu Zhe for the photos and for overseeing the arrival of the C. paucifasciatus pair while I’m away.

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